Editor’s Note: This is an exclusive guest post from Chaaya Baradhwaaj, Founder-MD, BC Web Wise. Views expressed in the post are her personal views. You can follow Chaaya on Twitter – @bigfish009
Advertisers have always sought to be a part of conversations in real time. After all, real-time communication can be as informative and relevant to consumers as it is effective for brands. What several brands such as Oreo or Kokuyo Camlin have successfully done in the past with real-time marketing stunts on social media, Google might be making it a lot more fun with ‘Real-Time’ ads.
When announcing the new unit, albeit exclusively for the Super Bowl and Oscar events with Wix.com and Comcast respectively, Google revealed that Real-Time ads will be rolled out globally only by year end. How it plans to give us a taste of Real-Time advertising until then, is equally impressive! US Presidential candidates might be the next to ride the real time wave in 2016, if Google opens up the ad format for the campaigners whenever they give live or televised audiences. With opportunities around some of the world’s most publicized events, Google is sure to have marketers craving for more of Real-Time ads!
Google’s new Real-Time ad unit packs in the reach its vast display network, the incomparable pull of Google Search and the creative flexibility offered by technologies such as HTML 5. According to Google, advertisers will be able to trigger relevant, timely ads across the millions of sites and apps included in the Google Display Network and YouTube in real time. This would provide brands with a unique opportunity to instantly target audiences as major events and plots unfold.
How Google Real-Time ads will work is that ads would have to be pre-planned and created. They can be dynamically inserted in real time at crucial moments – think a shuttle launch, or a stock market crash, or blackouts – when people start talking about a certain event on social media. Google is suitably calling these ‘left-shark’ moments. Since the ads will be displayed throughout YouTube and Google’s GDN network, consumers will be able to see them at just the right time wherever they are browsing!
Google’s Real-Time ads unit could probably be the most important development in advertising this year, even as we await the bigger picture on how it will finally be served. Though, it’s no surprise that outgoing veteran and head of Search Amit Singhal was replaced with John Giannandrea, who has been leading Google’s artificial intelligence business. The move indicates Google’s long term vision for Search to make it even smarter and intuitive!
This could be bad news for Twitter, which until now has been the dominant platform for real time ads and conversations. Even Facebook has been making moves to allow advertisers to tap into live conversations. However, Google’s Real-Time targeting could evolve into a major threat to their plans, especially when we consider the ubiquity of Google as a universal Search platform.
More and more people are interacting with gadgets and social media during live events or live coverage of events. Real-Time ads present a unique opportunity to form deeper connections with audiences in such moments that matter to them collectively. The ads can be informative or educative as Google plans to do during the US presidential race, or Super Bowl-esque live engagement. But the most important thing about real time advertising is the relevance to consumers – not just to the information consumers might be seeking but also to the live experience that they are currently a part of.
Obviously, advertisers will have to think on their feet to make the most of Google Real-Time ads and that’s what makes them so interesting! Since it’s not possible to predict all the creative possibilities for any event beforehand, marketers will have to plan with flexibility and think on their feet to capitalize on real time opportunities. The format of Google’s Real-Time ads will allow advertisers to tweak the creative depending on what’s happening. But the focus has to be on adding to the experience of consumers, rather than merely inserting an ad at the right moment.
What makes Google Real-Time ads so unique is the ability to use HTML 5! Mobile video consumption is growing exponentially and is becoming a major driver of brand love. And thanks to HTML 5, rich graphic and video content can also be served to consumers on any screen with Real-Time ads. Moreover, as mobile has greatly surpassed desktop search volumes, live engagement is in fact the need of the hour for brands to address the on-the-go consumer.
It will be interesting to watch how the few brands to which Google has currently made Real-Time ads format available for now, use it to reach and engage online audiences during major events.